In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.
The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)
National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 sponsors receptions each afternoon and evening during Police Week. These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.
(Police Week Org.)
Please tie a blue ribbon to your car antenna, put a blue ribbon on your front door or put a blue light in your window to show respect for the fallen officers.
What did they do to get their names on that wall?
There is a process we should pause right here to recall.
For a name to conjure a full measure of emotion
We must remember the ingredients of a full measure of devotion.
They all gave one last kiss, said one last goodbye.
The moment probably passed without even a sigh.
They sat through one last lineup, shared one last joke.
What lay ahead was unknown so, not a tear fell, nor did a voice choke.
There was no fine last-meal-cuisine, but some were fed well.
They had a Big Mac, a slice, or tacos at “The Bell.”
They didn’t think themselves heroes or in any way royal.
They just lived the life of servants, and to duty they were loyal.
Then came that last call, they said one last “10-4.”
Last concerns came to mind, they’d been there before.
They hit the lights one last time going one last place in a hurry.
Their minds heavily engaged in one last worry.
Then for one last time it all happened so fast.
They faced one last suspect, had one last fight to the last.
One last time that they discovered this job is so rough.
But this time giving their all was not quite enough.
They said one last prayer, thought one last thought.
About the last one they kissed, not the last one they fought.
One last breath lifted that badge one last time with their chest.
Then their name was etched in stone alongside all the rest.
Now as you gaze at those names, neatly etched in stone.
Before you return to your job and your loved ones at home.
Feel free to remember their last full measure of devotion.
With a solemn prayer, a sharp salute, and a full measure of emotion.
About the author
Lt. Dan Marcou retired as a highly decorated police lieutenant and SWAT Commander with 33 years of full time law enforcement experience. He is a nationally recognized police trainer in many police disciplines and is a Master Trainer in the State of Wisconsin. He has authored three novels The Calling: The Making of a Veteran Cop , S.W.A.T. Blue Knights in Black Armor, and Nobody’s Heroes are all available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Visit his website and contact Dan Marcou
(Police One Com)